Published: Sat, June 17, 2017
Arts&Culture | By Spencer Underwood

Trump being probed for possible obstruction of justice


Conservative media mogul Christopher Ruddy, a friend of the president breathed life into rumors that Trump was thinking about firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.) asked Rosenstein about these reports before reading several regulations for when a special prosecutor can be removed from their position.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says he consults with a career ethics official when questions arise about Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal from the Russian Federation investigation.

"I'm going to acknowledge we had a meeting with the special counsel Mueller, but I'm not going to get into the contents", Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told reporters later. Jeff Sessions said that, as Attorney General, he would recuse himself from any matters having to do with the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. Although Ruddy, who said he spoke to the president by phone over the weekend, said he personally thought it would be a mistake to take that step, other Trump cheerleaders, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, have begun assailing Mueller, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation with a sterling reputation.

Collins' question wasn't the only time the Mueller investigation came up during Rosenstein's hearing on Capitol Hill.

Shaheen also asked whether there was a record that gives Mueller full independence. Rosenstein said that while it depends on the circumstances, "I think the general answer is no". "Can you just tell me, what is the allegation against the President or any of his officials?" The Justice Department has denied that, saying Sessions stressed to Comey the need to be careful about following appropriate policies.

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The White House has since refused to say whether the tapes exist, but a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Wall Street Journal revealed the Secret Service does not have any such tapes.

He said Sessions is not involved in the Russian Federation probe and has not been briefed on it since his recusal. Sekulow, who is part of Trump's legal team, said he wasn't going to speculate if Trump would fire Mueller, but that he "can't imagine that the issue would arise".

"We also were aware of facts that I can't discuss in an open setting that would make his continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic", Comey said.

Democrats, reacting to the chatter, said that if Trump fired Mueller they'd try to enact an independent counsel statute so they could appoint him.

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence committee says Congress would not sit still if President Donald Trump made a decision to fire the special counsel leading the investigation into Russian interference in the US election and possible collusion with Trump's campaign. Mueller was appointed to investigate whether Trump or his associates had links to Russian hackers, and Trump lacks the direct authority to dismiss him.

Schiff told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Tuesday that "I don't think the Congress would sit still and allow the president to pick his own investigator". Instead, Gohmert believes Comey's testimony last week before the Senate Intelligence Committee further proves collusion.

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